Led by APIB, a delegation of Brazilian leaders will visit 12 countries to inform authorities, companies and European society about violence against indigenous people.
Brasília, October 9, 2019 – From October 17 to November 20, a delegation of indigenous leaders will visit 12 European countries to denounce serious violations against Brazilian indigenous people since President Jair Bolsonaro took office last January.
Led by APIB (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil), in partnership with civil society organizations, the campaign “Indigenous Blood: Not a Single Drop more” aims to pressure Brazilian government and agribusiness companies to fulfill international agreements on climate change and human rights signed by Brazil – such as the Paris Agreement, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169, which guarantees free, prior and informed consultation, the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous people, the New York Declaration, among others.
The delegation, formed by Sonia Guajajara, Alberto Terena, Angela Kaxuyana, Celia Xakriabá, Dinaman Tuxá, Elizeu Guarani Kaiowá and Kretã Kaingang, will join in important spaces for dialogue and political impact with European public to draw the world’s attention to the serious threats that are taking place in Brazil and also to inform authorities and public opinion about the origin of Brazilian products that are produced in conflict areas or in indigenous lands. According to the leaders, the agenda will be a campaign of dialogue, pressure, denunciation, dissemination and awareness of the European society of the context that indigenous peoples live in Brazil, a reality that threatens the lives of the forest people and of the planet.
The journey will begin at the Vatican, with the presence of the leaders at the Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region, inaugurated last Friday by Pope Francis, who demanded respect for indigenous culture and rejected destructive or reductive “ideological settlements”. Then, the leaders will go to Rome, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Spain. The agenda includes meetings with authorities and political leaders, congressmen of the European Parliament and the Green Bench, high commissioner of international cooperation bodies, businessmen, international courts, activists, environmentalists and artists.
Last April, data from an APIB report, produced in partnership with Amazon Watch, showed how European and US companies, including banks, loggers and accessory makers, finance deforestation in the Amazon region. Brazilian companies fined for environmental crimes in the Amazon since 2017 have been analyzed and the research identified linkages between them and Northern countries’ commercial interests. There is evidence of companies operating in conflict areas and extracting resources from indigenous territories.
Preliminary data published in September by the Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi) indicates that invasions into indigenous territories exploded in 2019. From January to September, there were 160 invasions in 153 indigenous lands against 111 such cases in 76 territories in 2018. Within three months until the end of 2019, there is already a 44% increase in total attacks and a 101% increase in land affected.
Another recent report, published by Human Rights Watch, showed how an action by criminal networks drives deforestation and fires in the Amazon, showing that reduced environmental fiscalization encourages illegal logging and results in greater pressure on forest peoples, who suffer even more violent reprisals in defending their territories.
In August, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report suggested, for the first time, as solutions to the climate crisis, the act of recognizing the role of indigenous people as guardians of the forest, as their knowledge and practices are important contributions to climate resilience.
For APIB, the moment to amplify the visibility of these facts through a campaign of articulation and communication abroad is now, because the genocide of indigenous peoples in Brazil is real and they need to join forces and allies for this battle for life.
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